Sunday, March 8, 2009

Morocco!!

Hello Everyone,


I finally made it to Africa., a place I have wanted to go since I was a kid and my aunt went there for the peace corps. I still feel the need to venture further into Africa where the culture is less Arabic and more like the Africa I have always imagined but I would like to think that at age 19 I still have time.

I went to Morocco last weekend and It was incredible. First, the landscape is magnificently green and diverse thought the country. The Food was absolutely amazing. I had Couscous and vegetables and more vegetables and wonderful breakfast pastries and wonderful coffee and amazing dinner the last night. It was all incredible I took pictures to prove it. Also, it tasted better then it looks and I think it looks wonderful!!

We went to Tangier, Rabat, Fez, and Assilah. We had the best food in Rabat and we saw what once was intended to be the largest mosque in Morocco but it was never completed. In Fez we stayed at a very fancy hotel thus not really seeing the culture but it was nice because the restaurant was on the top floor so we could see the whole city. I was randomly placed with two girls since I didn’t know anyone going on the trip. The one designed her own major relating to peace and social studies. Her father is the country director for Uganda in the Peace Corps. The other girl was a history major from Yale studying the history of Latino├ímerica focusing on immigration issues. We had wonderful conversation and similar perspectives on developing countries and diversity. It was very nice because the majority of the people on the trip did not seem to have the same perspective on anything. The majority seemed to be on the trip for fun and honestly did not seem pleased that things weren’t “American” enough … which I supposed means up to par.

The medina in Fez was incredible. The medina is the traditional Arab part of the town. It is a labyrinth of 9,000 streets. We spent the whole day in the medina. It was somewhat overwhelming but extremely interesting. Some people didn’t enjoy the medina because parts were smelly and parts were crowded and parts were busy… that is why I loved it. We saw the traditional Arabian life of Morocco. Admittedly, parts were a little smelly, like the leather tannery. I almost threw up. But I am still very glad I had the opportunity to see it.

One of my roommates and I decided to walk around Fez after dinner in the hotel. It was nice to see Fez without 50 -60 other Americans. When you are walking around any place with a large group of Americans I think what you mostly see is the peoples’ response to Americans rather than what the country is actually like. It is like a tidal wave on a beach. I don’t think a tidal wave has ever seen the sand because it brings so much water with it everything washes away. Some people were shocked that we left the hotel and asked us if we were scared. I think people need a good lesson in diversity and need to take off American Vision Glasses and realize that people are not dangerous simply because they are different. We were safe on a main road in the European part of Fez. We saw Fez without the tidal wave. It was nice and it rained.

The last day in Morocco we went to Assilah. Which is a very quaint beach town. I saw two camels. The town was very interesting. We spent the day walking around. And then headed back onto the bus and back for Spain. When we were on the bus back there were children who try to hitch rides on the back of the buss… illegally or try to get under it to sneak into Spain. The response of the people on the bus was most unpleasant. They did not seem to understand the desperation of some nor the fact that life is different from America. One girl said, well I guess there is no where to hang out here. Another said, oh I bet their moms are worried, they are probably going to miss lunch. It was sad to hear the ignorance of the College students, maybe the experience opened there eyes so that when they are older they will understand that there is poverty, suffering, hunger, and desperation, in the world but there is also content with little, hope, diversity, happiness, and peace in other countries, and over all, there is patriotism that exists without the word American in front of it. Maybe those kids will learn that one day but sadly they didn’t seem to understand it last weekend.
I think that my trip to morocco was very educational and interesting. It was also the first time I have been in a predominantly Muslim country. I was woken up by morning prayer at 5:30 am. One thing we Christians could learn from the Muslims is the importance of constant prayer.

I hope you all had a great weekend as well!
Next week I am off the London!! Enjoy the week and I will post something again soon!!


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